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Sep 4, 2008 09:42 PM

Help - Picky Eater, Sunday Dinner.

I will be in Berkeley Sunday night to take my niece to dinner. The problem: I need to find a restaurant with good plain cheese pizza (she hates Zachary's deep dish), or a good plain hamburger, or some other sort of plain diner food. I would rather go to Chez Panisse or some local Indian place, but we must cater to her needs (she's a freshman at Cal). Any suggestions? I'm at my wits' end here. Thanks in advance.

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  1. A freshman at Cal needs to expand her horizons a bit......

    Seriously, what about T-Rex? I've never been there, but from the descriptions from chowhound it sounds like they may have that kind of thing....

    1 Reply
    1. re: janetofreno

      They do have a regular burger on the menu, though if a slightly fancy regular burger bothers your niece, it may be too weird. You could go to Maritime East, they have a fantastic burger, and other good stuff for you (though it's not mostly diner food). You can get plain cheese pizza at Jupiter, but she'll likely go there a lot in the next few years.

    2. Would she go for Middle Eastern/Israeli food? I'm very fond of the assorted salads, falafel, bastilla, and mint lemonades at Holy Land on College. There are a few more familiar/boring options on the menu like chicken soup.

      1. Gregoire. You'll love it, she won't be intimidated. Can't go wrong.

        1 Reply
        1. re: karma_bites

          I would not take a picky eater to Gregoire, in general. This is their current dinner menu: Maybe the breaded chicken filet would work for her?

        2. Just bring her to Chez Panisse Cafe...they have pizza on the menu 98% (actually I think 100%) of the time. Just have her order it plain and get a salad. I don't know any better way to start off in Berkeley. She probably won't appreciate it fully until after she tells her of which will tell her how cool it is. 3 years she'll be telling you where to go.

          If you need that place between diner food and reasonable eats, I'd go to Venus, i.e., New American. You'll be able to get something decent and she'll be able to get something basic.

          Venus Restaurant
          2327 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

          1. Thank you all for these suggestions. Actually, my nephew (her brother) just yelled over the phone "Take her to Chez Panisse!," but my husband yelled in reply (we're a yelling family) from the next room that he's not paying those prices for her to stare at her food as if it had just been beamed in from another planet. Sigh. As such, the only viable option suggested here is Jupiter, so I suppose Jupiter it is. Thanks again, everyone.